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April 23, 2021

Chester County, PA – The Basics on Custom Channel Letters For your Business

Posted in: Industry News

Raceway mounted single color channel letters.

As a business owner, you know the importance of high quality signage as an essential component for establishing your company and attracting potential customers. With a saturated market of options ranging from digital LED signs, to free standing signs, to carved signs; selection can be an overwhelming process. With so many options, sometimes businesses find it difficult to choose the right one for their building.

Direct mount channel letters with duel lighting.

One of the most popular sign types our customers select is a custom channel letter set. The bold, sculpted three-dimensional shapes with brand colors and illumination ensure that your brand name, purpose, and message can really make your business stand out amongst the competition.

Raceway mounted channel letters in varying fonts, colors and sizes to match branding.

While channel letters are a specific sign type, the customization decisions allow for a wide range of appearances, styles and creativity. Everything from the letter type, colors, illumination style and mounting solutions can be customized to fit your branding and business goals.

Installation of a channel letter set.

Some of the different types of channel letters:

Face-lit letters – Face-lit letters are the most common type which involves letters made with aluminum sides, which will never rust, with colored faces. The letters are illuminated from the inside using either neon or LED lighting.

Reverse-lit (Halo-lit) letters – Reverse-lit letters create “halo” effect to the sign. This is achieved by constructing the letters so the opaque side is in the front allowing the light to disperse behind the face. When lit, the illumination is seen coming from behind the letters, as opposed to the front in the face-lit letters.

Face and Back (Halo)-lit letters – Front/back lit channel letters are the combination of the two techniques described above. The signage includes internally lit illumination, as well as back-lit or halo illumination behind the signs

Example of front lit channel letters on a raceway prior to install.


Once you have decided on the style of letter you like, we now consider the type of lighting used to finish off that impactful look. When appropriately chosen, the colors and light can help the signage pop against your building and stand out to potential customers.

Replacement channel letter set directly mounted to wall with dimensional letters that are unlit beneath. 

In some cases, the municipality may regulate the type of lighting allowed. Originally, neon lighting was the standard for illuminating channel letters and was the only option available. This form of lighting consists of a glass tube filled with gases. While the benefit of this type of illumination includes greater brilliance in some colors, neon lighting is far less prominent today making it an expensive option. Additionally neon is not as reliable as newer methods of illumination and the cost to operate is significantly higher.

LED lighting as a form of illumination in channel letters has become the new standard. LED illumination is a cost-effective and energy-saving form of illumination involving low voltage lights that illuminates the signage. The LED’s today are also significantly more reliable and offer a longer life span than neon.

Raceway mounted channel letter set including logo.

Mounting Channel Letters

Channel letters offer several different mounting methods to either create a certain look or meet property owners requirements or municipality regulations

Raceway Mounted– A raceway is a rectangular mounting structure which serves as both a container for the sign’s electrical components (such as a power supply) and a mounting structure. The letters are mounted to the raceway which is then mounted to the building. Many property owners favor this option as it requires the least amount of penetrations into the building facade.

Individually Mounted Letters – Face-lit letters may also be mounted directly to the building facade as individual letters for a more upscale look. For reverse or Halo-lit letters, they would be mounted directly to the building fascia using standoffs which space the letter off of the face or the building allowing the light to escape from the back of the letter.

If you are considering new signage for your business, contact Paramount Signs for a free consultation.

Remember “getting you noticed is Paramount”

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